Early this year, during the month of March, FPInnovations’ Transport & Energy department published the findings of various studies on energy intensity reduction. These findings are summarized below. Further information may be obtained from Vincent Roy or Cameron Rittich.
Full power mode versus econo mode of a log loader
A study comparing the impact—on both energy intensity and productivity—of econo mode versus full power mode, in operating a log loader, made it possible to note that in econo mode, the energy intensity (L/m³) diminished 30% without negatively affecting the loader’s productivity in so doing. Although productivity was slightly higher when the engine was in full power mode, it didn’t compensate for the higher fuel consumption. The use of econo mode should therefore be given priority.
Engine power and energy efficiency of roadside log processors
Another study was carried out to evaluate the impact of engine power on fuel consumption and energy intensity. To do so, four models of roadside processors were observed to assess the impact of various parameters. The study made it possible to note that the two least recent pieces of equipment (2004 and 2007) demonstrated better energy intensity (L/m³) than the two more recent ones (2013). In addition, it was noted that engine power had no direct impact on energy intensity.
While the study produced interesting findings, longer-term observations should be made in order to better understand the links between power, type of processing head and energy intensity. The scientists moreover mentioned, as a reminder, that the operator’s skills would also play a major role in the productivity of the machine.
Energy supply at remote camps: saving by replacing
Replacing equipment rather than repairing it would be preferable in order to reduce the fuel needs of stationary generators at remote camps. Based on the scientists’ observations, LED lighting, new generators and modern electric household appliance models would help significantly reduce energy consumption at logging camps. Oil-fired boilers would also be more efficient if they were equipped with heat exchangers to cool them.
The scientists found that opting for less energy-guzzling equipment may make the high capacity of some generators unnecessary, which, in return, affects their energy performance. By reducing the power required, a smaller capacity generator can be more efficient when working in its optimal range.
Tridem drive – quad-axle semi-trailer configuration outperforms 8-axle semi-trailer for energy intensity
When compared to the Super B-Train and Tridem B-train, the Tridem drive – quad-axle semi-trailer configuration demonstrates the best energy intensity (L/t-100 km). On-board computers displaying the fuel consumption on the electronic control module were installed on the trucks. These values were calibrated with the fill-up data at the pump. The data could then be compared in order to identify the 8-axle configuration with the poorest energy intensity performance.